The latest member of the Boulder County district attorney's staff may not have a law degree, but prosecutors are confident he will be able to lend a helping hand at the courthouse.
So to speak.
Amigo, a 16-month-old golden retriever, is set to arrive in Boulder later this month to start training to become a courthouse dog at the Boulder County Justice Center. He is now in Indiana.
"It's been a really positive and exciting time within the office," said DA Stan Garnett, who will be paying for Amigo's travel expenses out of his own pocket.
Through a national program that pairs dogs with courthouses across the country, dogs are trained to help victims and witnesses -- especially young ones -- be comfortable during trial while not disturbing court proceedings.
Amigo was raised to be a disability companion dog, but due to some hip problems he is unable to pull or carry things and so was instead donated to be a courthouse dog.
"He may not be able to help somebody with a physical impairment, but he has a temperament that will make this a great dog for the office," Garnett said.
He said Amigo was originally named Iago -- after the villain of Shakespeare's "Othello" -- but said the staff decided to change the name.
"We wanted to make it something similar, though, so we went with Amigo," Garnett said. "It's been really fun, a fun thing for the office."
Amigo will go through a few more months of training with some members of the DA's Office before he is ready to make his first appearance in a courtroom sometime in October.
Mindy Stevens, a legal assistant for Boulder County court, is one of two people -- along with victim advocate Kim Stalnacker -- who will be primarily responsible for handling the dog and taking him home at night.
"It's very exciting, being able to help the victims," Stevens said. "I thought it would be a really neat opportunity to help out. I think the dog will calm people down, relax them a little bit and take some of the jitters away."
Stevens -- who already owns two dogs -- said she is a dog lover who didn't hesitate when given the chance to work with Amigo.
"I immediately said, 'Let me know what I can do and I'll do it,'" she said. "I'm looking forward to just being around the dog and being able to help."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.